Michael Dann

Michael was born way back in January 1965 to a very much non musical family! Before the age of 5 he had been bought a typewriter as he seemed keen to use his fingers on a keyboard – little did he or his parents realise that 40+ years on music would be such a large part of Michael’s life!
Michael started playing the piano ‘by ear’ when visiting friends to play at the tender age of 6 – he was far happier ‘playing’ on the piano indoors while the friends he was meant to be playing with were outside playing in the fresh air!
When 7 his parents decided to buy him a piano and send him for piano lessons. The piano cost £10 and came from an old pub and was no where in tune and at full concert pitch, but that didn’t matter – it did the job – Michael was hooked!

He went for his first piano lesson and when back home announced that he wasn’t going any more as he could play better than the teacher. Not the case at all but having learnt the infamous ‘Chopsticks’ by ear he felt the two handed scales he was being asked to do by the teacher were way beneath him! He never went again and has been self taught from that point on.
At primary school Michael played the recorder and occasionally the piano in school assembly – this not pleasing the head teacher on the day the rest of the children announced to him that Michael knew the tune to a new hymn the children had been taught by their peripatetic music teacher and they wanted Michael to play it. The head didn’t allow it!
However things at High School were much better when Michael was taught by Paul Tarrant and encouraged to play whenever he had the chance. Within a few terms Michael was playing the piano for whole school assemblies every day and then for school productions. While at High School Michael learnt and played several other instruments and became a member of the South Norfolk Youth Symphonic Band and played numerous concerts with them as a tenor horn player and later as a flautist.

Michael performed the role as Musical Director for the first time while still at High School aged 16 – a pantomime for his village drama group – Pulham Players. This became the start of his long association with various drama groups.


Michael left school and went to work in retail selling keyboards, performing at concerts for the music store along with organists such as Brian Sharp & Peter Hayward and once performing a duet with the late magician Paul Daniels. He also started doing some part time teaching. In his spare time he continued to play for several local drama groups and also perform concerts both locally and also further afield for organ societies – using Yamaha multi keyboards, first an MR700, then a HS8 and then on to his trusty EL 90. Michael took delivery of a new Yamaha Stagea ELS – 01C in June 2005 which he imported from Japan, this has been replaced with a far more portable yet as versatile Yamaha Tyros 3.

Michael’s great musical passion is musical theatre and he greatly enjoys trips to both the West End and Broadway and gains inspiration from these productions. Michael finds that many songs from these shows work well as instrumental pieces using songs from the likes of Les Misérables, Phantom Of The Opera, Miss Saigon and The Lion King to name but a few. Michael always tries to programme his keyboard to sound as orchestral as possible, this has been used to great effect in many productions including Godspell, Moby Dick - The Musical and Jekyll & Hyde, all of which were National Operatic & Dramatic Association award winning productions.

Michael has also been involved as Musical Director/Compere with singing groups,  Stage 2wo & Merely Divas -  raising over £10,000 for various charities from their performances of mainly songs from the shows.

In 2011 he started the new ‘well being’ choir DISCORD. DISCORD now has over 300 members attending the 5 sessions held each week across South Norfolk & Norfolk Suffolk and is growing on a weekly basis.

In 2012 he was appointed Choir Master/Musical Director for Wattisham Military Wives choir and in that time he led the choir to perform for HRH The Queen during the jubilee celebrations, the launch of the 2012 National RBL Poppy Appeal in Trafalgar Square and on the Military Wives Choir second album Stronger Together. On the recording day he co-MD’d for RAF Marham Bluebirds (another fab MWC) on the joint choir song counting time co-written by Gareth Malone. Michael had an amazing year with the Military Wives Choir but stepped down as MD for the choir to pursue new ventures along with running DISCORD sound in the knowledge that the Wattisham choir wouldn’t have achieved what they did in their first and very challenging year without him.

In 2014 Michael and members of Discord supported West End & Broadway singer Kerry Ellis on the Suffolk leg of her UK tour singing two songs with her - see the video on the Discord page of this web site.

Michael lives in mid Suffolk with his partner &  elderly cat Morris, when time allows he likes to spend it at the theatre, travelling and generally enjoying life!

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© Michael Dann 2017